Faith-Based Architecture

Because the builders [of Gothic cathedrals] aspired to model their structures on divine order, they assumed that as long as they did not deviate from a strict geometric proportionality, their buildings would inevitably be stable and sound. They reasoned that because divine order was geometrically proportional and it was manifestly stable and enduring, the same would be true for any similarly designed structure. The reason, they thought, so many structural failures occurred in Gothic cathedrals was that the builders had deviated from strict geometric proportionality. Even worse, some designers assumed that the cure for a work in progress that was showing signs of distress was simply to keep building until geometric regularity was achieved, at which point the entire structure would magically stabilize.

—Robert A. Scott, The Gothic Enterprise, pp. 125—-26